Valley Virginian: March 10, 1870Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
(Column 01)Summary: This article advises citizens of the Valley to look to the future with optimism. There are several points of interest discussed. First, the author suggests that Virginia is entering into a period of unprecedented prosperity, and the conservative policy now gaining throughout the country only adds to these upcoming prosperous times. Also, while money will have to be spent on free education for black citizens, the governor has assured white Virginians that schools will remain segregated. Finally, arrangements to alleviate mounting debt problems that have caused a great deal of anxiety since the war are discussed, suggesting that the situation is far from "hopelessly insolvent."
Full Text of Article:
An old war phrase, engrafted on our Southern idiom, may not inaptly usher a few remarks upon some of the war's more important results among our Southern people; and one of the effects of that war being somewhat to circumscribe that catholic interest which old Virginians once took in National affairs, we make no reconnaissance to day beyond the latest boundary of our Commonwealth, nor trench at all upon debatable ground.
In fact we begin to think, with Rasselas of old, when he had gained experience, that our own little Valley is long enough and broad enough to give full scope to our affections, and to feel like him some diminution of our interest in what lies beyond the blue hills around us.
Well, then, mentally reviewing the events of the past few years, and contemplating the condition in which we find ourselves to day, what reason have we Virginians of the Valley to bewail the past? Just come to quiet anchorage after tossing about so long, a helpless waif, upon the shifting currents of national politics; just escaped from a worse than Egyptian bondage, and left comparatively free to shape for ourselves civil government, we yet hear on every hand complaint of the evils, real and imaginary, past, present, and to come, from certain gentlemen among us, whose discontented murmurings remind us always of that character of Horace:
Difficilis, quarulus laudator temporis acti. Now old memories will sometimes sadden the cheeriest of us all, when the thought of our bravest and our best, sacrificed in the struggle, comes over us at times like that music described by Ossian. But we have no patience with these perpetual Jeremiads. We think it best to sake hands with the past and look before us. And to those differently inclined, we would say, that we see no reason why our achievements in the future, though on different fields, should not eclipse our former glories. We see no reason why young men, especially should exchange for homes in the Southern or Western States, a regimen which for combined fertility of soil, salubrity of climate, convenience to markets, and societal and educational advantages, is unsurpassed upon this continent. The necessity which drove so many of them from our midst, to seek their livelihood in sections less impoverished, was one of the results of the war which we have most regretted. Now is the time for them to return, and build up homes and names for themselves in the land of their forefathers.
We have every reason to believe that Virginia is just entering upon a career of prosperity, unprecedented in her history. Those Cassandras in breeches of whom we spoke are principally, if not exclusively, found among the class called "Loafers" Their gloomy views are unnoticed beyond their street-corner gatherings. The fact is that the condition of things here is more hopeful just now, than at any time since the war.--As to the tendency of the "National" government, we do not propose to speak. But the temper of the Congressional majority towards us has manifestly improved, as witness the recent debates and votes upon the subject of disabilities. The reaction has set in.--A Conservative policy is gradually gaining ascendancy in the Northern mind, and no sooner will it begin to find expression at the polls, than these same curs who have been barking at our heels, will be fawning upon us.
The Supreme Court has given evidence of its disposition to return to, and enforce the principles of the Constitution. The recent confirmation of Judge Strong as Associate Justice, adds strength to that inclination--Returning confidence in the currency of the country will infuse new life into the veins of commerce, and give a stimulus to business enterprise, of every sort. A steady tide of immigration has set in, and, properly managed, it may be diverted from its usual destinations in the far west, and we may reap the benefits of their energy and industry. As the more worthless of our negro population is drifting off we well afford to encourage their coming.
There is no section of the country, North, South, East or West, which offers more inducements to such settlers; which is itself more favored by kind Providence, than our own Valley of Virginia. We are no longer subject to the double tyranny of a Radical oligarchy and the military understrappers. We have a Government of our own. And that Government being an inexhaustible theme for our grumblers, let us see whether it is really so bad as represented.
Certainly no other State among the "reconstructed" has been equally fortunate.--As to our Executive head, it seems to us that he is the right man in the right place. His administrative capacity is undoubted, and his interests are thoroughly identified with our own. He is untrammeled by old party prejudices, and awake to the real issues of the day. Our Legislators are men of our own selection, and we see, as yet, no ground of complaint in that quarter. A work so important as our civil reorganization should be deliberately done. And we doubt not that our Judiciary will be selected with a due regard as well to the wishes of the people as their fitness for the Ermine.
Our new Constitution, which is so berated as in the main, a literal copy of the old Constitution of 1850, under which we have lived from twenty years. It leaves our code of Statute Law in force, together with the legislation of the years, 1855, 6 and 7, the operation of which has so amply proven its wisdom. Some of the changes are merely transcripts from the Constitution of the United States, already the supreme law of the land. Some others we regard as absolute improvements; for instance, the veto power given to the Executive; the establishment of Bureaus of Agriculture, Chemistry and Geology and of Immigration, the substitution of Judges "learned in the law" for the old County Court Magistracy, and the appointment of all the Judges by the General Assembly, instead of their election as heretofore. We believe, too, that the extensions of the rate of interest will prove a positive advantage. The old law has, of late, been practically inoperative, save to increase the per centum by the risk. The object, in our opinion, is best regulated by the law of trade.
The "Common School" fixture is a great bug-bear. True it is objectionable, but under the Constitution it is susceptible of improvement. And in the recent election of Wm. U. Ruffner, as Superintendent, we have assurance that it will be judiciously systematized, and managed to the best advantage for four years to come. The great majority of our population are unable to educate their children. We must either establish schools at the public expense, or leave them in ignorance--all to exercise the elective franchise, and no means of appealing to their judgments. Our neighbor State of West Virginia assesses, for this purpose, a special tax of ten cents on the hundred dollars. The proprietors taxed for educational support may expect, in time to realize their investment in the enhancing value of their property. Our contempt for the "Yankees" should not cause us to reject what is useful because they have invented it. And Common Schools are not their invention. We believe they originated with the Scotch.
The Homestead Exemption is not high in favor with the creditor class. But the principles of justice are immutable, and they need apprehend no deprivation of their rights under contracts in the past. The future will take care of itself. And they should remember, too, that the same instrument has relieved them from the incubus of the Stay Law.
This is peculiarly a time for the exorcise of moderation and forbearance between fellow citizens of a state just recovering from a common disaster. We are not among those who believe that a cruel, grasping spirit is one of the universal effects of the war upon our people, or that the restoration of legal remedies will result in such universal distress. The statistics of judgments and executions in our Courts is no fair exponent of the temper of our people; nor does it exhibit a debit and credit account between them. Many creditors have sought, in that way, to secure their proper priorities, who, instead of pushing their legal advantages, are now compromising on generous terms. One debt paid will meet another, until the aggregates of indebtedness, which have been so paraded before our eyes, will be reduced surprisingly.--Notwithstanding the reverse of the past season in an agricultural community, we are very far yet from that condition of hopeless insolvency which a stranger might infer from our public prints. We of the Valley are less involved than any other portion of the State: We are less paralyzed by Emancipation, having been for years comparatively independent of the negro laborer. Intersecting lines of railway, projected and begun with proper encouragement from us, will soon give us reduced freights and competing markets for our produce. We have genial skies, a generous soil, and a thrifty, industrious people. The future of such a people, under such circumstances is not a subject for despondency or doubt.
(Column 01)Summary: The Presbyterian Church of Staunton is currently holding a Sunday School convention.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: Twenty persons joined the Presbyterian Church last Sunday, 14 by profession and 6 by certificate.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The Friends of Temperance of Augusta County held a meeting in Greenville at which they discussed promoting the cause in the area.Marriages
(Column 02)Summary: Charles F. Fisher of Augusta and Miss Samanthia E. Harris of Nelson were married on February 22nd by the Rev. C. Beard.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Charles F. Fisher, Samanthia E. Harris, Rev. C. Beard)
(Column 02)Summary: Jacob H. Shaver of Rockbridge and Miss Annie E. Coiner of Augusta were married on February 24th by the Rev. C. Beard.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Jacob H. Shaver, Annie E. Coiner, Rev. C. Beard)
(Column 02)Summary: Jeremiah W. Hall and Miss Elizabeth H. Blakemore, both of Augusta, were married in Mt. Solon on February 24th by the Rev. James M. Follan.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Jeremiah W. Hall, Elizabeth H. Blakemore, Rev. James M. Follan)
(Column 02)Summary: Mrs. Mary Row, Postmistress at Moffett's Creek died on March 2nd. She was 70 years old.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Mary Row)
(Column 02)Summary: Hattie Jane Harlan, daughter of George and Jane S. Harlan, died in Staunton on March 2nd after a protracted illness of three years. She was 15 years old.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Hattie Jane Harlan, George Harlan, Jane S. Harlan)
(Column 02)Summary: Mrs. Elizabeth Fuller died near Waynesboro at the residence of her son-in-law, J. S. Ellis, on February 14th after a short illness. She was 77 years old.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Fuller, J. S. Ellis)